Categorized Applications of IoT in the Transportation Sector

IoT In Transportation

We travel a lot. That’s a mutual consensus we all can agree upon.

In general, an average American spend 18 days behind the steering wheel in a year and commute for more than 50 minutes a day.

Call it the thrill of the ride or whatever you want, the bottom line is that we waste a lot of our precious time traveling. Not only commercially, but also in the industrial sector, the conveyance time of goods and workforce plays a crucial role in determining the overall process efficiency.

The sector of logistics benefits the most by saving transportation time. As per research, 63% of logistics companies can reduce their freight costs by at least 5% by using a transportation management system (TMS).

IoT offers several new benefits over traditional TMSs that help logistics companies to optimize their operations and save more money. At large, IoT also provides benefits like effective vehicle transportation and traffic management that help in the smooth flow of traffic in smart cities.

The application of IoT in the transportation sector can vary on factors like mode/medium of transportation and specific use case in industrial or commercial sector. Let us understand these applications based on these categorizations.

IoT in Railway Transportation:

1) Preventive Engine Maintenance:

The diesel-fuelled train engines are not your simple car engines. They are a complex mixture of continuously operating mechanical parts that can pull weight of around 4500 tons. Obviously, they cannot be inspected or maintained in a typical car service station. These locomotives require a suitable resource-rich workstation along with a huge workforce of engineers, who can conduct proper repair and maintenance operations on them.

IoT allows the railway authorities to reduce manual inspection & maintenance operations and hence cut repair costs. Hand in hand with sensor applications, IoT allows monitoring of different parameters like fuel consumption, temperature, and component interlinking that can be used to track the health and performance of train engines. Hence, the practices of preventive maintenance can be adopted instead of scheduled maintenance for locomotives.

2) Safety and Reliability:

IoT driven GPS vehicle tracking allows monitoring of vehicles from remote locations. In a rail network, the same solution can be used to track the passage of trains on the rail tracks. The authorities can hence have clear communication with the train drivers that will help them to ensure railway safety and prevent collisions.

3) Rail Track Maintenance:

With GPS vehicle tracking, the authorities will also have a clear vision about the patterns in which trains cross a particular rail segment. They can hence schedule track maintenance procedures without disrupting the passage of locomotives on railway tracks.

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Industrial Transportation Vehicles:

1) Geo-fencing:

IoT based geo-location and geofencing techniques allow logistics and other industries to monitor their fleet trucks from remote locations. Geofencing allows companies to make virtual boundaries on a map and monitor the path taken by the trucks to reach their destination. They can hence reduce the delivery time by identifying the shortest route to transport cargo, reduce fuel consumption, and improve their customer satisfaction.

2) Advanced Analytics:

IoT also offer amazing analytics and data processing capabilities. By analysing the data gathered from different IoT endpoints via different algorithms and data processors, the companies can develop useful insights related to their fleet management. They can also develop patterns related to the driving habits of truckers and use them to optimize their fleet operations. Hence, the supply chain practices are simplified and shipments are made on time.

3) Increase Productivity and Cost Optimization:

Companies by using these trends and patterns can take actions that further improve their productivity and reduce operational cost. By implementing predictive maintenance practices, the breakdown of a particular component of truck engine can be identified beforehand that enable companies to take precautionary decisions. This increase their productivity along with improving the efficiency of different equipment.

Road Transportation Management:

1) Parking Management:

The IoT based V2X (vehicle to everything) network creates a connection between smart vehicles and infrastructures. A basic example of this connection is smart parking management system. The connected vehicles receive a notification about nearby available parking spots whenever they visit a mall, theatre, amusement park, etc. This parking management system is a perfect illustration of the automated and futuristic world in which we will live.

2) Traffic Management:

The V2X network is a mixture of pedestrians, infrastructures, and smart vehicles. This means that the connected cars can share information with traffic infrastructures like traffic signals and stop signs. Also, weather forecast and traffic management system share data with these cars. Hence, the drivers driving the connected vehicles gains real-time notifications about traffic congestion on crossings and incoming traffic in the upcoming lanes. Drivers can hence choose less congested roads to reach their destinations in the shortest time possible.

3) Pedestrian Benefits:

As even the pedestrians are a part of the vehicle-to-everything network, they can also avail the benefits of this connection. The pedestrians can have real-time information about the next transit and decide if they want to wait on the bus stop or look for another boarding station. Furthermore, pedestrians can also connect with traffic lights and change the signals to cross the road safely.


The benefits of IoT in the transportation segment is making our lives simpler and comfortable. These applications have revolutionized different commercial & technical segments and allowed the industries to improve their supply chain operations and cut operating costs. The solutions of IoT in transportation will surely drive our future in a smarter manner.